Coverage Breakdown: Oxford @ Lafayette
Players to Watch:
Oxford quarterbacks - Both John Reece McClure and John Meagher had good showings against Grenada last week. The Chargers could be using McClure’s arm and Meagher’s legs a good bit against the Commodore defense.
Hiram Wadlington - He was rushed for over 100+ yards in all three games this season. So far, he has 123 yards per game rushing and has been a threat at receiver too.
J.J Pegues - The sophomore phenom is a key weapon on this Charger offense. The tight end has caught seven passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns. He is a do-it-all athlete.
Quentin Wilfawn - Wilfawn once again impressed last week by getting 10 tackles. He now has 42 total tackles on the year which ranks 13th in the state.
Damarion Parham - The senior corner has 13 passes deflected and it seems like he’s getting better and better every game. He recorded his first career INT last week.
Jamarcus Quarles - The next dominant running back that Lafayette has produced. Quarles is having another great season in the backfield after rushing for 2,140 yards a year ago.
Randy Anderson - The sophomore takes over behind center with Brandon Turnage out with a foot injury. Anderson passed for 58 yards and a touchdown last week against North Panola.
Quinshun Twilley - A good ball player on both sides of the ball. Twilley is usually the go-to guy at receiver and is a stud at free safety.
Brandon Curry - Curry was one of the state’s top tacklers a year ago and is doing his job yet again in 2017.
Drew Dabney - Danny is considered by most to be one of the state’s top punters. He also took some reps at quarterback in the absence of Turnage.
Keys to the Game:
Can Oxford stop the run? This was a huge issue for Oxford a year ago. Last year’s Crosstown Classic game was a defensive fight until Jamarcus Quarles found holes. The rest of the game was history. Quarles rushed for 272 yards a two scores last season against Oxford. Lafayette has always prided themselves with the ability to run the ball at will on opponents. If Oxford can stop Quarles and Jamie Shaw this time around, they could reclaim the Crosstown Classic trophy they lost a year ago.
How will Lafayette respond to adversity? Lafayette was pretty much in this exact same situation this time last year. The Commodores were winless and were unable to find stability offensively going into this game. This time, however, they are without their top playmaker Turnage. How will Lafayette respond to one of their best players injured and with their backs against the wall? If they win this game against 2-1 6A foe Oxford, they very well could be one of the state’s most dangerous teams going down the road.
Which team will capitalize off turnovers? This is something that Oxford failed to do in last year’s Crosstown Classic rivalry. The Chargers forced four Commodore turnovers, but could only muster three points out of that. Those three points were the only points scored on the night for the Chargers. If one team can take advantage of opportunities given to them. They should be in good shape.
Conditioning - The last three games between these two squads were decided by the team who finished the game strong. In 2014, Oxford scored 38 unanswered points to blow past Lafayette. In 2015, it was Lafayette who started off with a bang, then Oxford found their offensive game plan and the rest was history. Last year, Oxford made their presence and their aggressiveness evident early, but Lafayette got momentum from Quarles’ legs and the Commodores ran over Oxford. It will be important for one team to respond back to adversity being down on the scoreboard, having players injured, and making it through the hottest part of the season.